A Pie chart in Excel helps to show you the relative size of parts in your data. It’s easy to see how much share each part of your data has when you use a pie chart. Let’s learn to create them.
Prepare Your Data for Pie Charts in Excel
Before we build a pie chart in Excel, we need to capture and arrange our data. Pie charts work best with data in two columns.
In this example, I’m going to show my team’s sales for the month. Create a list with names in one column, and sales amounts in the second column.
Create The Pie Chart in Excel
Now, let’s insert the pie chart. Highlight the data in both columns, then use Excel’s Insert section on the ribbon. Find the selection labeled Charts, and click on the Pie Chart icon.
You’ll see multiple pie chart styles to choose from. Try them each out, but for my example, I’m going to use the 2-D Pie preset that you see below.
Edit Your Pie Chart
Let’s take our simple pie chart in Excel to the next level. Let’s start by adding data labels to the slices on our pie chart in Excel. This shows you the numeric values from your data, right on top of the pie chart.
One last tweak: let’s change these amounts to percentages instead of the original numeric values. Pie charts are used to show relative proportions, so this is a common tweak you might make.
Right-click on the data labels, then choose Format Data Labels. You’ll see a new menu pop up on the right side of Excel. Tick the Percentage box. Optionally, untick the Value box to show only the percentage of each slice.
Pie Chart Pro Tips
Keep in mind these tips for using pie charts in Excel like a pro:
- Limit the number of categories of data in a pie chart. With too many parts, the pie chart becomes unreadable.
- Use contrasting colors in the pie chart so that each part is distinct and separate.
- Pie charts aren’t a good choice if your data includes a negative value (a bar chart might be a better choice.)